Authorities of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) have lamented over the devastating effects of the Anglophone Crisis on the church and its institutions based in the two restive Regions.
In one of his presentations, Rev Monoke Augustine of the PCC Nsimeyong, Yaoundé said out of the 30 Presbyteries of the Church, 16 have been affected by the current conflict.
He also said the health situation in the two Regions is catastrophic as three of the churches reference hospitals which served as a livewire for the people, given the fact that there exist no Government reference hospitals in Anglophone Cameroon have been forced to closed.
“These hospitals which are some of the oldest in the areas include the Presbyterian General Hospital Manyemen in the Manyu Division with some of the most sophisticated bone specialists. Also the Presbyterian Hospital in Nyasoso as well as one of the best eye medical facilities in the entire country, the Presbyterian General Hospital Acha-Tugi in the North West Region. Apart from these, 10 other health centres have been seriously affected,” the Man of God said.
Education, he went on, has also been hard-hit with the closure of eight major schools including one of the oldest schools in the South West Region, Presbyterian High School (PHS) Kumba which is unable to operate since last academic year.
According to the Pastor, because of these closures hundreds of people are already without salaries including many Pastors who have been forced out of the Parishes because of violence.
With the Church’s headquarters in Buea and about 82 percent of its establishments and activities in the two Anglophone Regions, Rev Monoke argued that the PCC is already on its knees.
“Not only is the church unable to run its activities, but it has to provide relief materials to thousands of persons knocking at its doors.”
The Pastor said the Nsimeyong Parish is already receiving more than 500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Anglophone Regions. In this dispensation, the Pastor said the Moderator of the church has instructed all the institutions to cut down on their expenditure and prioritise only the most essential life-saving activities.
The Presbyterian Church is a sequel of the Swiss Basel Mission since 1957. With its English background, its headquarters were stationed in Buea and the Church quickly spread throughout all the corners of Anglophone Cameroon and one of its first Moderators, Rev Jeremiah Chi Kangsen even became a Member of Parliament for the Southern Cameroons.
Since the beginning of the Anglophone Crisis in 2016, the PCC has come under severe attacks. Some of the church’s properties and houses were also burned in the arsonist attacks in Meme. Its workers, especially Pastors and medical personnel have also received death threats. On September 15, a Teacher employed by the PCC and serving in CPC Bali was shot dead by Gendarmes.
In recent times, the Synod Clerk of the PCC, Rev Babila Forchang has joined forces with other religious leaders including Emeritus Cardinal Tumi and the Imams of Buea and Bamenda Central Mosques to convene what they termed an Anglophone General Conference in November as a way to fine-tune strategies for the Crisis to be resolved.